Don’t miss these superbly written books that combine intriguing history with memorable real-life escapades.
From a bicycle trip through Chile and Argentina to a South African journey to report on Nelson Mandela’s final days, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw had no intention of slowing down as he celebrated his 73rd birthday in February 2013. What he didn’t count on was a cancer diagnosis a few months later that would transform the next 16 months of his life into one in which cancer became “the scrim through which all of life is viewed.”
Three books following unconventional lives make great picks for reading groups this month.
Sometimes things happen in life that change one’s perspective. Literally. For Gail Caldwell, hip surgery made her five-eighths of an inch taller. It was a new view, and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
It’s hard to know whether to call Boyd Varty’s Cathedral of the Wild a memoir, a true adventure story or a self-help book. All I know is that it made me cry with its hard-won truths about human and animal nature, distilled by Varty from his experiences living on Londolozi, the game reserve his family runs in South Africa.
Acclaimed author and well-regarded funny person Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story) releases his much- anticipated memoir, Little Failure today.
After writing three critically acclaimed novels, Gary Steyngart turned to memoir. Little Failure, published this month, is an unsparing, often funny, account of Steyngart’s anxiety-ridden life from his early childhood in Russia, through his family’s immigration to Queens, New York, and ending with the publication of his first novel. Our reading of the memoir raised some additional questions, which Shteyngart answered via email.
Near the end of his entrancing and unsparing memoir, Gary Shteyngart —author of three exuberant, award-winning novels—writes, “On so many occasions in my novels I have approached a certain truth only to turn away from it, only to point my finger and laugh at it and then scurry back to safety. In this book, I promised myself I would not point the finger. My laughter would be...
“We’re just looking for the ghost town,” a stranger tells Justin St. Germain on the back roads of Arizona. St. Germain understands—maybe more than the stranger could appreciate. He is a haunted man. After his mother’s death, he moved from Arizona to San Francisco and rarely told new friends that she had been murdered when he was 19. He didn’t want to be...
Journalist and author Katie Hafner kept no secrets where her difficult upbringing was concerned. Moved from place to place with her older sister by their self-involved, alcoholic mother, the two girls were ultimately removed from her custody but remained in touch with her over the years. When her mother fell on hard times in 2009, Hafner decided to forge a new bond by bringing her to San...